The Top 10 Choking Hazards for Children

This healthy lunch is full of choking hazards for your pre-schooler.

Just yesterday, a friend was telling me that during her son’s recent hospitalization she saw a truly terrifying sight. A severely retarded 3-year-old who cried all day, with nobody to comfort him.

It turned out that a year before this boy had choked while eating in his high chair. His mother immediately tried to dislodge the piece of food, but was unsuccessful, and severe brain damage resulted.

The mother and father have 6 other children at home, so this poor boy spent his days alone at the hospital. Crying.

Oy, I am so sorry to share this story. It is so awful. (And it confirmed a dream that I have, that when my children are grown, I would like to volunteer a few days a week at a hospital to hold and comfort crying babies and children.)

So when I saw that the 2nd most Emailed article today in the New York Times was an article about choking hazards for children, I read it carefully, and I was very surprised by the information I found there.

Did you know that in the US in 2001, over 10,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for food-related choking. In 2000, 160 children died from an obstruction of the respiratory tract.

According to a 2008 study, the 10 foods that pose the highest choking hazards for young children are:
-hot dogs
-boned chicken
-fish with bones
-sunflower seeds

Here are some basic choking prevention guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Children under the age 4 of 5 should NEVER be given
-raw carrots
-hard candies

Some special situations, for children under age 5:

Hotdogs: Cut them lengthwise before slicing them. (simply slicing hotdogs into quarter-size pieces makes them even more dangerous than leaving them whole!)

Grapes: Cut into quarters

Lollipops- Flat lollipops are safer than ball-shaped.

If a child is choking, don’t wait. Call 911 (101 in Israel)- IMMEDIATELY!

While the vigilance of an adult during meals is important, we cannot always prevent choking. Dr. Gary Smith, a national expert on choking reports: “I see the parents when they bring their children into the E.R. Virtually every time they say, ‘I can’t believe this happened to my child — I was standing right there.’ ”

This information is definitely going to change what and how I feed my younger children. I’m also going to show this list to my husband today.

With G-d’s help and the right information, may we keep our kids safe and healthy!

Photo courtesy of user Wendy Copley

One comment

  1. Amen!

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email